A train, with a camera mounted near the front, pulls out of the Jerusalem station. It passes groups, first of Europeans, then Palestinian Arabs, then Palestinian Jews. Dress, hats, and ... See full summary »
In commedia dell'arte style, an actor on a stool presents six distinct characters through speedy application of whiskers and a hat or, in one case, a wig followed by a few gestures. First ... See full summary »
A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train, which is seen coming at some distance. When the train stops at the platform, ... See full summary »
In this scene is shown a magician behind an ordinary table, upon which he suddenly and mysteriously causes to appear a large box, into which he leaps. The sides of the box fall to the ... See full summary »
The scene opens in an artist's studio where the unfinished statue of William Tell stands upon a pedestal. A clown appears and sticks a clay arm and clay head on the statue, thus completing ... See full summary »
A magnificent Venetian oratory. On the left a large bay window through which may be seen the Grand Canal of the city of Venice. In the centre a colonnade and a hemicycle; to the right is a ... See full summary »
Three military men, seen inside a fortification, are firing on an unseen enemy force. The call for reinforcements but ladders appear signaling the enemy is about to overrun this position. ... See full summary »
An elegantly dressed man enters through a stage door onto a set with decorated back screen, a chair and small table. He brings a well-dressed women through the door, spreads a newspaper on the floor, and places the chair on it. She sits and fans herself; he covers her with a diaphanous cloth. She disappears; he tries to conjure her back with incomplete results. Can he go beyond the bare bones of a conjuring trick and succeed in the complete reconstitution of a the lady? Written by
Méliès' "Escamotage d'une dame au théâtre Robert Houdin" (1896) or "The Vanishing Lady" is an early example of trick cinematography, utilizing his renowned and often-used technique of stopping the camera mid-scene and altering the mise en scène. As such, it's highly entertaining, although if you delve deeper into Méliès' films you'll soon become very familiar with this technique and its possible variations.
I hope you read the IMDb comment "Magic and Presentation" (January 27th, 2008) by Cineanalyst, where the history behind the French title is well explained. Knowing the historical background isn't mere trivia here but might actually help you appreciate the film more.
Films are a magic show, and it's good to revisit these older films that explicitly remind us lest we forget.
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